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Londonderry / Derry Culture & history

Our most recommended Londonderry / Derry Culture & history

Bloody Sunday and Bogside Murals Private Guided Walking Tour

1. Bloody Sunday and Bogside Murals Private Guided Walking Tour

The modern history of Derry is explored in the Bogside tour. Subjects range from the partition of Ireland and the creation of the six-county state, widespread religious discrimination against Irish Catholics, Civil Rights period, Battle of the Bogside 1969, Bloody Sunday massacre January 1972 and covers both inquiries in to Bloody Sunday and the conflict that occurred here afterwards. You will visit the Bogside, the crucible of the modern day conflict and home of the Civil Rights Association. View the world famous Bogside murals in Derry's Bogside. The Bogside murals give visitors a glimpse in to the recent history of Derry using visual art Visit the site of the Bloody Sunday massacre. The Bloody Sunday monument was the last physical act of the NI Civil Rights Association. 

Derry: Walled City Private Tour

2. Derry: Walled City Private Tour

Discover the long history of Derry and the surrounding area on this city walls walking tour. Derry is one of the longest continuously used areas of land in Ireland, dating back some six thousand years. This walking tour takes the 1.4 km circuitous route along the walls. Learn how St Colmcille set his monastery on the island of Doire in 546 before going to Iona in the western isles of Scotland, bringing Christianity to Britain. Hear about Queen Elizabeth I's advance into Ulster, bringing Anglicization and the Protestant religion, then the Irish response to this invasion that led to the Nine Years War 1594-1603, ending with the Flight of the Earls in 1607. Discover why the famous City Walls were built, and why the name of the city is still contested following Derry's change to Londonderry under King James I. Immerse yourself in the history of the Siege of Derry, The Fountain Estate, Derry Gaol, the Apprentice Boys, as well as the Great Hunger and emigration.

Best of Ireland 6-Day Backpackers Economy Tour

3. Best of Ireland 6-Day Backpackers Economy Tour

Mix with local characters, and get a unique insight into Ireland’s legends, landscapes and people on a week long tour of the island, north and south. Explore city life in Belfast, Derry and Cork, go to the rocks of the Giant's Causeway, walk along the Cliffs of Moher, tour the Dingle Peninsula, and enjoy a glass of the black stuff at the Guinness Brewery in Dublin. The tour takes in the highlights of Ireland’s four corners, including all the sights of Northern Ireland, and includes a night at a traditional Irish pub, plenty of opportunities to dance the night away, hikes through bogs and castle ruins, and much more. Day 1: Dublin - Belfast Depart from Dublin at 9:00 AM, and begin your adventure at Drogheda, where you'll see the preserved head of St. Oliver Plunkett in St. Peter’s Cathedral. Cross the border at South Armagh. A fascinating evening in Belfast awaits. Learn why “Lonely Planet” described the capital of Northern Ireland as one of the top 10 “Must-See” destinations on earth. You can take an (optional) Black Taxi tour to see the Peace Wall and political murals. With accommodation in the Downtown area of the university area, great nightlife will be on your doorstep, while the peaceful Botanic Gardens are a short stroll if you prefer to relax among the scent of roses. Day 2: Belfast - Derry Today you will cruise the beautiful north coast. See - and cross, if you dare - Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge (seasonal and subject to a small optional charitable donation to the National Trust). Then, trace the footprints of Celtic giants as you walk the Giant's Causeway, Ulster's number one attraction since 2 million BC. Marvel at an estimated 60,000 hexagonal columns of basalt rock, formed by violent volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. Your guide will wax lyrical about how the giant warrior hero, Fionn McCool, built it to fight off the pesky Scots – according to local legend! You'll have plenty of time to take the high or low road hikes, before setting off for Dunluce Castle, ancestral home of the McDonnell clan. Learn how the castle came to ruin in 1639, when the kitchen collapsed into the sea during a great feast, and about the ghosts of the staff said to still linger. Spend the night in Derry, a jewel of a city for history buffs. Your accommodation will be in the ancient streets of the Downtown area, perfectly placed for the traditional music night at Peadar O'Donnells pub. Day 3: Derry - Galway Start the day with a hearty breakfast before an in-depth walking tour of Derry's historic walls (1601). Learn why the city is officially known as Londonderry, and the story of the long bloody siege of 1689. Go to the popular Bogside district, scene of the Bloody Sunday massacre of 1972, and inspiration for U2's classic anthem “Sunday, Bloody Sunday.” Next, drive through enchanting Sligo, visiting the sacred grave of the Irish poet and Nobel laureate, WB Yeats. Experience the archaeological richness of Ireland's northwest coast, before spending the night in Galway, the nation’s party capital. Your guide will take you to a cozy pub in the Latin Quarter for a glass of Guinness to the beat of electrifying Irish music and the sweet sound of the Gaelic language. Day 4: Galway - Dingle Today you will have the wild Atlantic Ocean by your side as you travel down the west coast, passing golden sand beaches, and maybe even a few dolphins and whales. Run around the lunar landscape of The Burren, the only place on earth where Alpine, Arctic, and Mediterranean flowers grow side-by-side. Hear about the horrors of the great Potato Famine of 1845-49 that saw more than a million Irish flee to the 4 corners of the globe. Next, gaze in awe at the Cliffs of Moher, and see why they were used as the “Cliffs of Insanity” in the movie “The Princess Bride.” Cross the River Shannon to Limerick, setting for Frank McCourt's blockbuster book, “Angela's Ashes.” Tonight you'll stay in your very own Irish pub, the Randy Leprechaun! Located in Annascaul on the Dingle Peninsula, it will be a great chance to mix with the locals and enjoy the characters of a genuine small village away from the tourist traps. Pull up a stool by the fire or dance the night away. In the morning, you can always take a swim with Fungi the Dolphin in Dingle Harbour, if you’re feeling brave. Day 5: Dingle - Killarney Take a short drive to the Gaelic-speaking fishing village of Dingle for some free time to shop and lunch in the charming center. Then, enjoy a scenic tour around Slea Head, with loads of time off the bus to take photos, or even take a wee hike. Your guide will tell you the folk stories and songs of the region as you visit Sleeping Giant Island and the famous 3 Sisters Mountains. Go for an (optional) horse-led car ride through Killarney National Park, and experience a tradition that has continued since the 1800s. You will spend the night in Killarney, a tour favorite for its huge range of activities on offer. Listen to traditional music, or discover great bars, restaurants and nightlife just steps from your hostel. Try singing a few of the songs your guide taught you during the day! Day 6: Killarney - Dublin Cross the Cork and Kerry Mountains, and kiss the Blarney Stone on top of Blarney Castle. Located in the rebel county of Cork, Blarney Castle is one of the most famous tourist sites in Europe, with great shopping opportunities. Kissing the Blarney stone isn't everyone's cup of tea, but a tour of the castle’s dungeons, caves and hidden bedrooms provides a great insight into a 12th-century masterpiece. Whether or not you need the gift of the gab, said to be yours after kissing the stone, dangling off the 300-foot battlements while being held by a middle-aged Irishman is too good an offer to turn down! After lunch, visit the beautiful Golden Vale, Ireland's finest agricultural land, and marvel at rolling fields and fresh pastures. Make your way through the battlefields of "Braveheart" for the tour’s grand finale in Dublin; a visit to the Guinness Storehouse. Say cheers to your guides and fellow travelers with a pint of the black stuff before you say your goodbyes.

5-Day Tour of Northern Ireland

4. 5-Day Tour of Northern Ireland

Day 1: Dublin - Connemara - Galway To begin your amazing experience, depart Dublin and make your way to the West of Ireland and tour beautiful Connemara. On your way across the midlands of Ireland, take a comfort stop for refreshments before arriving in the enchanting village of Cong. Famed by John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara in the film Quiet Man, the village is home to Ashford castle, a regular haunt of the rich and famous and a wedding venue for a host of international stars. Have time to visit Cong Abbey before continuing your journey through the wilderness of Connemara. Enjoy the unique landscape, beautiful lakes, valleys and mountain scenery. Gaelic speaking, this area still maintains many of Ireland's traditional ways, however it was deserted during the dreadful famine times of 1845. to 1851. Arrive in Galway mid afternoon to ensure that you get the most out of this cultural city. Have time to explore the Spanish Arch and ramble around colorful shop street with its many street performers, seafood eateries, and quaint Irish bars with wonderful musicians. A great night of real Irish entertainment is always a highlight of Ireland's traditional music capital. Day 2: Galway - Sligo - Letterkenny After a great night in Galway, set off through parts of Connemara to the Museum of Country Life. Here you are introduced to the Irish way of life that has existed in this rugged and beautiful part of country since 1800s. Your lunch stop today shall be Ireland's premier surf venue and beach at Strandhill, County Sligo. Watch some of Ireland's finest breakers roll against your Atlantic shores before heading off through the poetic heartland of Ireland, W.B. Yeat's country. Visit his final resting place in Drumcliff Abbey, and admire the beautiful Benbulben referenced in many of his poems. Your overnight this evening is the town of Letterkenny, Co. Donegal's most populous town. Day 3: Letterkenny - Donegal - Derry - Letterkenny Begin today with an excellent in-depth tour of Donegal's Glenveagh National Park. Here, take the opportunity to enjoy nature with lakeside walks and a visit to Glenveagh Castle. Onwards to Grianan of Aileach a hilltop fort, 3000 years old with panoramic views of 5 of the counties of Ulster and legendary stories from every era of Irish history. This afternoon, visit the city of Derry. Enjoy a walking tour of Derry's walls (1613) and the well known Bogside district made famous by the 1972 massacre and U2 song "Bloody Sunday". Enjoy some time at leisure and maybe a pint in one of the local pubs. Return to Letterkenny to relax for the evening. Day 4: Letterkenny - Giant’s Causeway - Glens of Antrim - Belfast Today, cruise the beautiful North Antrim Coast. Continue along the coastal route, with fantastic views and photo opportunities of Whitepark Bay. Next it's Northern Ireland's highlight the Giant's Causeway with its 37,000 basalt columns forming stepping stones leading from Ireland to Scotland and recounted in the legend of Fionn MacCool. The drive to Belfast takes us through part of the Glens of Antrim. Overnight in Belfast with a huge variety of options for dinner and evening entertainment Day 5: Belfast - Dublin Begin the day with a city tour of the highlights of Belfast including City Hall, Queen's University, Botanic Gardens and much more. Together, visit Titanic Belfast, a fascinating exhibit housed in the very docklands where this most famous ship was built and launched before her tragic maiden voyage. You will also have some time at leisure and many guests will take a Black Taxi tour (optional) of the political murals and of course the Peace Walls which divide the Catholic Republican from the Protestant Loyalist communities. Enjoy time for lunch and shopping downtown. Depart Belfast around 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM making a stop at Dublin Airport at 4:30 PM approximately and finish in Dublin at 5:00 PM approximately.

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What people are saying about Londonderry / Derry

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 32 reviews

We did two tours and wanted to place our review on each tour site. We were guests of Gleann in late May and just had a moment to sit and write about our experience. Gleann's perspective and knowledge of how the past transcends to the current day still resonates with us. His sense of humor and kindness will be one of our most cherished memories during our trip to Northern Ireland. Gleann was able to incorporate a stop off at our son's place of employment in Derry, along with an invaluable conversation along the entire wall and into the Bogside. Gleann's expertise is a five star experience!

We were guests of Gleann in late May and just had a moment to sit and write about our experience. Gleann's perspective and knowledge of how the past transcends to the current day still resonates with us. His sense of humor and kindness will be one of our most cherished memories during our trip to Northern Ireland. Gleann was able to incorporate a stop off at our son's place of employment in Derry, along with an invaluable conversation along the entire wall and into the Bogside. Gleann's expertise is a five star experience!

The 6 day trip through Ireland offered more than I expected. We have seen and visited many beautiful places. There were some interesting optional offers that could also be booked on site. The accommodations have always been fine. All in all a tiring but wonderful trip to get to know Ireland.

If you want to dive into the culture and get a glimpse of what drives Derry’s rich culture you have to book this tour. Our guide Gleann was amazing! Funny, friendly, and very informative!

We had a great tour with Gleann. It was full of raw emotion and felt as genuine as possible as it was told by a guide who has experienced the hardship derry has experienced